The Premier League of Darts began a week last Monday with the first five nights of action taking place throughout the week. Next week, the second part of Phase 1 will begin on Monday night, with the action building to a crescendo on Thursday night when we hit Judgement Night, when two of the ten players competing will be eliminated from the tournament.

This year, there was drama even before the event began as on the eve of the tournament, UK Open Champion James Wade was drafted in to replace the ill Gerwyn Price, the current World Champion with Wade barely given 24-hours notice that he would be competing in the event.

The opening five nights of action proved to be an incredibly close set of games as you will see from the review of the action below. That sets up an intriguing final four nights of action which take place next week from Monday evening through to Judgement Night on Thursday.

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Let’s begin our look ahead to next week’s key games in the Premier League of Darts by giving you a full recap of how the matches went on the first five night of action, complete with the current league table ahead of next weeks games. We will then look at the matches remaining in the tournament before giving you our picks for who will be eliminated and who will eventually be crowned Premier League Darts Champion.

Premier League Darts Results

Night One

  • Nathan Aspinall 7-3 Glen Durrant
  • Rob Cross 6-6 Jose De Souza
  • Peter Wright 6-6 Jonny Clayton
  • James Wade 6-6 Gary Anderson
  • Michael van Gerwen 6-6 Dmitri Van den Bergh

Night Two

  • Gary Anderson 7-5 Jose de Sousa
  • Jonny Clayton 7-3 Glen Durrant
  • Dmitri Van den Bergh 7-5 Nathan Aspinall
  • Michael Van Gerwen 7-2 Peter Wright
  • Rob Cross 7-3 James Wade

Night Three

  • Rob Cross 3-7 Michael van Gerwen
  • Glen Durrant 0-7 Dmitri Van Den Bergh
  • Peter Wright 7-4 Gary Anderson
  • Nathan Aspinall 7-4 James Wade
  • Jose de Sousa 3-7 Jonny Clayton

Night Four

  • Dmitri Van den Bergh 6-6 Peter Wright
  • Jonny Clayton 3-7 Rob Cross
  • Jose de Sousa 6-6 Nathan Aspinall
  • James Wade 7-3 Michael van Gerwen
  • Gary Anderson 7-2 Glen Durrant

Night Five

  • Gary Anderson 4-7 Jonny Clayton
  • Peter Wright 7-5 Rob Cross
  • Michael van Gerwen 6-6 Nathan Aspinall
  • James Wade 7-3 Glen Durrant
  • Dmitri Van den Bergh 3-7 Jose de Sousa

Notable Achievements And Under-Achievements Across The First Five Nights

It was a torrid start for defending champion Glen Durrant in the Premier League as the Middlesbrough darts star lost all five of his first round games to sit well adrift at the bottom of the table. Durrant now looks very likely to be eliminated on Judgement Night, but who will join him out of the competition is far more difficult to ascertain.

Just three points separates the player at the top of the table, from the player in ninth spot and that means that next week’s games are going to be hugely important and decisive.

We also saw two nine-dart finishes on the opening round of games. Jonny Clayton achieved it on Night three in his victory over Jose de Sousa and then on the following night de Sousa also landed the 9-dart finish in his 6-6 draw with Nathan Aspinall.

A very close set of fixtures across the first five nights has produced this nip and tuck table.

Premier League Table – Night 5 (end of part 1 of phase 1)

  1. Jonny Clayton – 7pts (+7)
  2. Dmitri Van Den Bergh – 6 Pts (+5)
  3. Nathan Aspinall – 6 Pts (+5)
  4. Michael van Gerwen – 6 Pts (+5)
  5. Peter Wright – 6 Pts (0)
  6. Rob Cross – 5 Pts (+2)
  7. James Wade – 5 Pts (+1)
  8. Gary Anderson – 5 Pts (+1)
  9. Jose De Sousa – 4 Pts (-2)
  10. Glen Durrant – 0 Pts (-24)

As you can see, the closeness of all the matches on the first night of action seems to have translated across the whole tournament with very little to pick between any of the top nine players in the event. With Durrant now well adrift at the bottom of the table, it looks like being a race between the other nine players to avoid that ninth spot and elimination on Judgement Night.

Looking at the fixtures that remain, it is going to be an incredibly exciting week of action with literally any of the top nine players able to top the table after Judgement Night, or be eliminated if they cannot find their best form.

Premier League Phase 1 Remaining Fixtures

Night 6 – 19th April

  • Nathan Aspinall v Peter Wright
  • Jonny Clayton v Dmitri Van den Bergh
  • Rob Cross v Gary Anderson
  • Jose de Sousa v James Wade
  • Glen Durrant v Michael van Gerwen

Night 7 – 20th April

  • Glen Durrant v Jose de Sousa
  • Rob Cross v Dmitri Van den Bergh
  • Nathan Aspinall v Jonny Clayton
  • Peter Wright v James Wade
  • Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson

Night 8 – 21st April

  • Rob Cross v Nathan Aspinall
  • Gary Anderson v Dmitri Van den Bergh
  • Michael van Gerwen v Jose de Sousa
  • James Wade v Jonny Clayton
  • Peter Wright v Glen Durrant

Night 9 – Judgement Night – 22nd April

  • Jonny Clayton v Michael van Gerwen
  • Glen Durrant v Rob Cross
  • Jose de Sousa v Peter Wright
  • Nathan Aspinall v Gary Anderson
  • Dmitri Van den Bergh v James Wade

Given the closeness of the competitors in the Premier League of Darts this year, picking out the key matches is impossible as every game could well be a key game. A win for one player can catapult them far up the table, while a loss can see them tumble right down, depending on other results.

As such, I don’t expect things to become any clearer until we reach Wednesday and Thursday nights games, by which point I do think the table should become more defined and we should have a better idea then of which games will affect the top of the table and which ones will see players battling to avoid elimination.

In terms of elimination, for me it looks like Durrant plus one other and who that is, is a complete mystery. Obviously, it will be the player that struggles the most in this second set of games and I think that Rob Cross is probably the most likely to do that after his relatively poor run of form over the last 18 months or so.

As for the winner of the event, well I’d still back Michael van Gerwen to win it. He has the ability to kick into another gear that few other players can match and that does tend to happen in the latter stages of the tournament.

Tune in next week for what should ne four fantastic evenings of darts action to enjoy.